If you have children and teenagers, you may understand that they require different nutritional needs to adults. Are the meals that you’re preparing for them meeting their nutritional needs?

There are a number of different vitamins and minerals that your kids need to give them the best nutritional needs for their growing bodies. If you’re unsure of the best vitamins and minerals for your child, ask your doctor about the best options for them.

Calcium

As you probably know, calcium is one of the best building blocks for healthy bones and strong teeth. To help your children with bone loss in their later years, it’s always best to help your child’s calcium levels while they’re still young. 

In general, between the ages of 1 and 3, 700 mg of calcium a day is recommended. This only increases from ages 4 to 8 to 1000 mg per day and 1300 mg per day between the ages of 9 and 18. Some of the best foods that contain calcium include dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, salmon and fortified foods such as calcium-enriched breakfast cereals. With a nutritionally balanced diet that is rich in calcium, you’ll be able to provide healthy bones and teeth for your children as they get older.

B12 and other B vitamins

To help with their metabolism, a healthy heart, their nervous system and better energy levels, B vitamins are your go-to vitamins. Because B vitamins help a number of different bodily functions, this makes it one of the most important vitamins to focus on within their diet. 

The majority of vitamin B12 foods are animal-based foods such as poultry, fish, meat and eggs. In general, most children will get enough B12 from a standard diet but if your children are vegetarian or vegan, it’s always important to choose fortified foods that are high in B12. This will ensure that they get enough vitamin B12 and other B vitamins throughout their day.

Fibre

Although fibre isn’t a mineral or vitamin, foods that are high in fibre generally have a lot of important nutrients in them such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin E. Fibre is also important for a healthy digestive system. Fibre intake is often based on how many calories are you have per day. It generally equals to 14 grams of fibre per 1000 calories. 

Some of the best foods that are high in fibre include avocados, berries, oatmeal and broccoli. Almost any kind of bean will also provide a great source of fibre for your children. Another important thing to know about beans is that they are high in protein and other nutrients such as potassium and vitamin A. This means that they are great for vegetarian and vegan families.

Iron

Iron is what helps your red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your bloodstream and the rest of your body. Teenage girls who have started menstruating will generally need a higher level of iron intake of around 15 milligrams per day. 

There are a number of different food sources to help with iron levels such as dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, as well as beans such as soybeans, kidney beans and lima beans. Red meats and other animal products are also generally high in iron.

Vitamin E

To help keep your blood vessels clear and flowing well, Vitamin E is the best vitamin to help your children. It’s also known to help strengthen your immune system, which is great for children as they’re growing up. To help increase vitamin E, look for certain vegetable oils such as sunflower oil and safflower oil. You can also receive a good level of vitamin E through nuts and seeds such a sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and almonds.

If you’re looking for a way to increase vitamins and minerals for your children without a drastic change of diet, a daily multivitamin may help with their nutritional needs. It’s important to note that multivitamins shouldn’t replace a healthy balanced diet. If you’re not sure of the best vitamins and minerals for your children or teenagers, have a chat with your general practitioner today to discuss their needs. Every person is different and therefore everyone’s nutritional needs are likely to be different.